John Kerry on Immigration
Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President
BUSH: We're increasing the border security of the US. There ought to be a temporary worker card that allows a willing worker and a willing employer, so long as there's not an American willing to do that job, to join up. I don't believe we ought to have amnesty. I don't think we ought to reward illegal behavior. There are plenty of people standing in line to become a citizen. If they want to become a citizen, they can stand in line, too. And here is where my opponent and I differ. In September 2003, he supported amnesty for illegal aliens.
KERRY: We need a guest-worker program. We need is to crack down on illegal hiring. And thirdly, we need an earned-legalization program for people who have been here for a long time, stayed out of trouble, got a job, paid their taxes, and their kids are American. We got to start moving them toward full citizenship, out of the shadows.
KERRY: The borders are more leaking today than they were before 9/11. We haven't done what we need to do to toughen up our borders, and I will. We need a guest-worker program, but if it's all we have, it's not going to solve the problem. We need to crack down on illegal hiring. It's against the law in the US to hire people illegally, and we ought to be enforcing that law properly. We need an earned-legalization program for people who have been here for a long time, stayed out of trouble, got a job, paid their taxes, and their kids are American. We got to start moving them toward full citizenship, out of the shadows.
KERRY: We need immigration reform. But the president's plan is really a plan to exploit workers in America. It's not a real immigration reform plan. What I want to do is have a full immigration reform plan that involves earned legalization, involves the technology and support we need on the border, work with President Fox in order to have a legitimate guest worker program. And finally, we need to crack down on those people in America who hire people illegally and exploit workers in the US.
Q: Earned legalization means people who came here illegally could work toward legal status.
KERRY: Sure. Absolutely.
Q: Why would that be fair to all of the people who came legally and are waiting in line to become citizens?
KERRY: I don't think it is a good thing if they are working, if they've paid their taxes, if they've stayed out of trouble to start separating families and destroy the good work they've done through those years to be part of our country.
A: I support an earned legalization proposal that will allow undocumented immigrants to legalize their status if they have been in the United States for a certain amount of time, have been working, and can pass a background check.
KERRY: Absolutely. I supported and was prepared to vote for amnesty from 1986. And it is essential to have immigration reform. Anyone who has been in this country for five or six years, who's paid their taxes, who has stayed out of trouble, ought to be able to translate into an American citizenship immediately, not waiting.
|Other candidates on Immigration:
|John Kerry on other issues:
George W. Bush
Third Party Candidates:
Carol Moseley Braun
|Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts